Welcome to the Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI!

The Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI was founded in April of 2004 and has grown to 32 members! We meet at the Meridian Club in Fullerton, California on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 AM. We would love for you to visit our chapter and consider joining our very diverse and successful group of professionals. For further information, please contact the President, Allen C. Buchanan at 714.564.7104 or email me at abuchanan@lee-associates.com

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BNI Podcast: Episode 198, You Do the Math

This week's podcast guest is another SoCal colleague, Dan Romero. Congratulations, Dan! You can listen to the entire podcast here:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!!

The message this week will be short and sweet. Just the facts, Ma'am. The Champions welcomed guests (John Spann from Green Flag), subs (Luchansky and Vasquez)and reps from other chapters...all the way from the San Gabriel Valley...Alhambra, that is! That is Misner country folks. Douglas Lee thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and told me several times how much! We really enjoy it when people have a Champion experience.


Here is something that none of us knew about Michael Figueroa before today.

Michael continued with a very passionate keynote on the reasons that he works so hard for Rite Loom flooring. Rite Loom has several BNI members throughout the SoCalregion and we are pleased that Michael is a Champion!

Chuck Tipton delivered a beautiful preamble to his keynote:

Both of the presenters provided detailed handouts of their ideal customer, ways to refer them, experience in the business and things to look and listen for. Personally, I would highly recommend either Michael or Chuck and can attest to their abilities!

International Tabasco Award:

The competition was fierce today! We had three songs...one even to the Arkansas fight song...which brought back substantial memories of forgotten Saturdays in Fayetteville Arkansas watching the Razorbacks. Dr. Real who won the award two weeks ago by singing his SMM to the "Yellow Rose of Texas, used a winning theme. Since I awarded the pepper this week, he thought that the fight song would soften my heart. It did, but the ask wasn't as specific as I had hoped. Two of our newest members made gallant efforts but exceeded the time limit...Kathy Penton and Christina Pham. In the end, the winner was our own EC, Mr. Jim Sando who quoted Ray Kroc...green is growing, ripe is rotten and asked for an intro to a mail services company. Wow! The ITA is blowing up!

GRC Team:

We have a new game designed to build a cohesive group that will commence on April 1, 2011. All of the one-to-ones and trainings completed this week will count. Extra emphasis will be placed on one-to-ones within the chapter and trainings. We even completed a training as a chapter today following the meeting. Thanks to Jim Sando for setting this up and to Gary Reeves for moderating! We learned a bunch about Power Teams. Great thanks to the GRC team...Michael Figueroa, Ela Corcoran, Jody Houseman, and Dr. Real for a great game and to Greg Beck for lending support during his busiest time of year...tax time!

Welcome Mr. 36:

That would be Mark Bill from Bill's Auto Body...sponsored by James Kashi and mentored by Gary Lorge. We are happy that you are a new and improved Champion, Mark! Welcome!

Some things to remember:

You are interested if you do it because circumstances permit
You are committed when you accept no excuses...only results

Please keep Rosanne Grigsby and her family, Glen, Grace and Christina in your thoughts and prayers.

Always bring a scaled drawing of the meeting venue when you attend a leadership team meeting...only if you want to be awarded the Champion Spark Plug Award for that week...a la Aric Gless!

Make it a Champion Week!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Monday, March 28, 2011

Walk the Walk

Mohammad Favakeh truly walks the walk! Here he discusses his referral technique with one of his clients, Dr. Ivan Misner.

Chapter Success Forum

Aric Gless went to the BNI Chapter Success Forum, and wanted to pass along some highlights:

Strategic Referrals:

This is a person who is an ongoing source of referrals. It can be or does not have to be someone in a related field to you, but it someone who crosses paths with people with whom you can do business. Examples:

Architect and …Bankers (connection is bankers are first contact for funding of potential architectural purchases or projects).

AFLAC rep and ……Landscapers (connection is that landscapers have clients who are heads of business who have responsibilities over their company’s benefits).

Promotional Table:

When introducing a visitor to members, also lead them to the promotional table. Point out not only the members who have items on the table, but also the Testimonial Book, and invite the visitor to glance through it. In our case, the table would gain more visibility if it were rotated to be along the path of entry, rather than against the wall (away from view). People tend to look to their right more than their left, so maybe we put it on the other side.

Testimonials and Speakers’ Handouts:

Speakers handouts, if placed face down, do not become a distraction. The speaker can ask members to look at the handout, during the Keynote Speech.

In order to keep the meeting on time and moving along, and having Stand and Deliver be more than just talking, Testimonials should done only when accompanied by a written copy. That also encourages Testimonials for the book. Also, refrain from saying “Good job speakers”. It doesn’t carry any substance.

BNI Connect:

This is a BNI website that will be worldwide rather than local. It serves all of us in connecting to other regions and businesses that we may need in other areas. It should be available to the Leadership team this week, and later to the entire membership. For our regional events, like MSP sessions, continue to access those on socalbni.com. Direct any questions to Lem Bucago regarding this.

Other items:

BNI Extravaganza: This happens in April/May. Any chapter who receives applications (date on the app) in April and May, qualifies the inductees for a chance to win an IPOD. Ask Lem about the details.

Office Hours: 75 minutes with Lem in varying sites, to discuss BNI topics (Sales Manager Moment, Keynote Speech, etc.). Upcoming April 11 9:00 in Tustin. Contact Lem for exact address. Best of all………….it’s free.

Aric D. Gless, A.I.A., LEED AP

Gless Architects, Inc.

4931 Birch Street

Newport Beach, CA 92660

949-852-0585 (o)

949-285-9834 (c)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Episode 197: “Mobile Phones in BNI Meetings”

Would you answer a call from your mobile phone during a presentation with your best client? Dr. Misner confesses that he "shuts off his phone" before a BNI meeting and he runs a global networking oraganization. To hear the entire podcast, please click here:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Champions SoCal BNI President's Weekly Letter

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Well howdy y'all! That is the way that Jim McCracken, AKA the El Paso Kid, and a UFirst agent started his keynote presentation this morning. Jim's presentation was very well rehearsed and it showed! Jim's keynote spanned five topics...What is the problem and why should you care? Why did Jim decide to represent UFirst? Why must you buy the software? Is it too good to be true? And a closing statement. Jim used movement and hand outs successfully and kept the Champions rapt for ALL of his ten minutes. The first ever Angel bobble head doll was not awarded as ALL the Champions were awake the entire keynote! Nicely done, Jim.

EC Moment:

Make sure in your one-to-one meetings that your referral partners know how to refer you. Remember that is incumbent upon ALL of us to train our fellow referral partners on the "what to look for(s)".

Visitors, Subs, and our very own Ambassador!

Heather Begley, subbing for Robert Perez and a make up artist, noted that she felt very welcome and that all of the Champions had positive attitudes.

Blake Green, from Branding Personalities and a sub for Rutger, is focused upon joining a chapter where his category is not represented. Rumor has it that Premier Pros may get a look?

Lisa Stewart, a sub and employee of Doug Luchansky of ACI, really felt the welcome vibe!

Yessy Estrada, subbing for Chris Vasquez of Union Bank, thoroughly enjoyed the International Tabasco Award...and who wouldn't as Dr. Real crowned this week's champ (twice for those keeping score at home)...Ms. Mary Buchanan's oldest son??

Daniel Latch, of Global Solutions Unlimited, observed GREAT spirit from the Champions.

Finally, our very own ambassador, Bernadette Lazarra, felt the love today and appreciates the Champion's chapter immensely. It is always great to have Bernadette present for the flight of the Champions.


Our crack GRC team, Michael, Ela, Hercules, and Jody, rolled out the game for April and May that will be focused upon one-to-one meetings within the chapter and trainings (workshops). The first training (workshop) opp for the contest period will be next week directly after the meeting at the Meridian Club. Thanks to our Director of Workshops, Mr. Lem Bucago and Jim Sando for arranging this workshop. The focus will be upon Power Teams! Cannot wait!

Awards and Chapter Biz:

Most 1-2-1s for February, Bo Lowe with 22
Most referrals for February, Chris Vasquez with 12
Most Visitors for February, James Kashi with 3

Greg reported:
Month to date referrals for the chapter, 93...avg monthly is 118
Month to date one-to-ones 197
Annual to date TYFCB $327,000...average $21,000 per seat on an annualized basis!

The Champion Spark Plug award this week went to Steven Stakley for filling in as Secretary Treasurer in Rosanne's absence! Great having you at the dais Mr. Stakley but we miss you Rosanne! Hurry up and get better!


Power Team Workshop for all Champions (who have signed up) next Tuesday March 29th after the meeting!

OCs Largest Mixer at the OC fairgrounds tomorrow the 23rd from 5:00-9:00. SoCal BNI will have a booth. Please stop by and say hello!

Leadership team meeting this Friday at 1:30 at Lee and Associates, Orange.

A special thanks to my wife, Carla Buchanan, an honorary Champion, who has helped your humble President with the speaker rotation, the Tabasco Award gluing, and generally keeping your President happy, healthy and presidential! I love you darling.

The meeting was adjourned with a quote, "We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things that we can minor time on major things." Your action for this week is to spend major time on major things!

Make it a Champion week y'all!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bo Lowe certainly knows enchiladas

We enjoyed dinner with the Lowes! We learned first hand about Hatch, NM chiles and the difference in New Mexico and regular enchiladas. They were yummy! Bo certainly knows enchiladas!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooo CHAMPIONS!!!

Today was special for many reasons:

We became a SILVER chapter (In excess of 32 members for three months...on to the Gold) and were awarded our silver pins by our director, Lem Bucago. Aric Gless accepted the Champion's Spark Plug award for his tireless efforts as membership chair and promptly divided the award in fifths...one share for each member of his committee...Chuck Tipton, Bill Edman, Patrick O'Kane, and Brett Adolph

We hosted several visitors and guests

We played a cool game called BNI Feud...Lem style (film at eleven!)

The "Champions went Braugh" and celebrated the "Ides of March" with themed SMMs based around the word green, dressed in green, and upon the St. Patty's Day celebration. Dr Real won the International Tabasco Award competition with a brilliantly "lyriced" and performed song...rhymes and all! Since the ITAs inception, our asks are MORE specific, the openings are definitely catchy, AND, the Champions are watching the clock! Way to go!

We were instructed quite skillfully by Jim Sando on referrals and he elicited some help from two of our top referral givers...Angelo Dionisiou and Brett Adolph...distinct in their approach but consistent in the giver's gain philosophy.

Michael Figueroa, our newly trained GRC committee chairman, unveiled our top ten list so that the Champions can keep these professions top of mind.

Greg Beck, the Sheriff, reviewed the Chapter Biz...still tracking!

We all missed Rosanne and pray for her speedy recovery and return to the dais.

The meeting was closed with a quote!

Make it a Champion week!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Referral Mindset by Clement Muwele

Our Great friend and award winning speaker and trainer, Clement Muwele outlines the "why" you should attend the Referral Mindset Training.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 195: “Plan an Xtraordinary Year”

In this week's podcast, Dr. Misner has three time guest Dr. Mark Goulston. This podcast is a "must listen"! You can listen to the podcast by clicking here

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

So what do Mardi Gras, AKA "Fat Tuesday", and the Champions chapter of SoCal BNI have in common? The International Tabasco Award! Of course! Tabasco, founded in Avery Island, Lousiana (Mardi Gras country) and the Champions chapter founded in Fullerton in 2004 share a rich heritage of "hot"! The only missing ingredient today was "fat" which all of our members used in their profitable introduction today...truly epic...So who dat talkin about all that fat? You will have to read the post but he is a first time winner and also took away the Champion Spark Plug Award as well!

The International Tabasco Award as introduced by our faithful President

Welcome Visitors!

Steve Richardson from ACR Builders, a general contractor who specializes in commercial construction and is a personal friend attended today and was energized by the buzz in the room. Blake Green from Branding Personalities and a new employee of Rutgers enjoyed the warm reception he received along with Justine Hansen a family law attorney with Ferruzzo and Ferruzzo who visited from the Diamond Club. I noticed a connection with Justine and Clay Colwell who keynoted. Clay enjoys meeting estate planning and family law attorneys.


Clay Colwell and Steve Barnett keynoted and each did a very good job of explaining their professions...residential appraisal and office supplies. Both have been in their respective industries for quite a while...32 years in Steve's case and the Stand and Delivers were filled with several eloquent testimonials about both Champions attention to detail and "above and beyond" approach to their follow through. Steven Stakley (who sat in Rosanne's spot at the dais) and I commented that we should involve Steve in our Power Team as his customer list caused us both to take note...a sticky note!

The ITA (International Tabasco Award) for this week...and other recognition:

Our other Jim...McCracken that is...we have three...won the International Tabasco AND the Champion Spark Plug Award this week. As a former ElPasoan, Jim understands the importance of the pepper...now he understands the importance of the specific ask! Jim is one of our newest members but has quickly folded into the role of visitor host and in fact beat Angelo to the meeting and the set up. We quipped that he arrived before the McCracken of dawn!

Welcome Ms. 36!

That would be Kathy Penton who will represent the category of Advertising Specialties! Kathy was encouraged to check out Champions by Gizi Clemmer...a member of another BNI chapter as Kathy's category was filled in her chapter. We are pleased that she is a Champion and that other BNI members are such givers! Thanks Gizi for sharing the wealth. Kathy will be mentored by one of our best and brightest, Gary Lorge.


This Monday March 14th will be mid-term Leadership Workshop at the Knott's Resort Hotel. The workshop commences at 8:00 AM and concludes at 11:30. ALL are encouraged to attend BUT if you accepted a leadership role and have not attended a workshop, your participation is highly recommended. You must sign up on the SoCal BNI website.

Next week the Champions will celebrate St. Patty's Day early by dressing in green, using green in our SMMs AND the Champions will truly go Bragh!

"It is tough to steal second while keeping your foot on first" Try to take a risk this week.

Please make it a Champion week and be careful out there.

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS:
Pictured to the left is a snapshot of what makes the Champions go round...visitors (business cards)! Our membership chairman Aric Gless is also pictured as he moved all of us...literally and figuratively...with his well rehearsed and choreographed keynote presentation. The Champions were truly in the presence of greatness today as Lem Bucago, our director and recently named Director of Training for SoCal BNI, TR Garland from the Referral Institute and Platinum Coast BNI (SoCal's largest chapter and home to the "A" Buchanan), and Andy Pais, member of the OC United and a SoCal BNI ambassador...oh yes and John Bonham, the president of Tustin BNI subbed for Angelo Dionisiou...Wow! That is a lot of talent for one meeting! The Champions were honored that ya'll chose to fly with us this morning. We know you have several choices and we hope that you return again really soon! Mark Bill from Bill's Body Works, and a former Champion, visited along with Mark Shroff of Paul Davis Restoration.


As previously advertised. Aric Gless, Gless Architects, delivered a splendid review of the steps he takes in designing a space for a client once the space has been leased or purchased. Aric brought in several carpet, paint, tile, accent samples to provide a great illustration...courtesy of Michael Figueroa of Rite Loom Flooring. I know that all in the room appreciated the detail! Aric also awarded this week's ITA...more later.

Patrick O'Kane, Turnkey Mortgage...our other resident Irishman outlined what causes interest rate fluctuation, why he is different, and the many, many professions that are touched by the housing market. I believe Dr. Misner refers to that as the Butterfly Effect. Outstanding job to both!

The Month of March:

Please remember to use the word "fat" in your SMM next week as next Tuesday's meeting will be on Mardi Gras...AKA Fat Tuesday. Dr. Paul is drooling!

On the Ides of March (March 15th)...week after next...please wear green AND use the word "green" in your SMM. With Aric and Patrick in the house we can definitely Champions go Bragh!

International Tabasco Award:

Wow! Mr. Stakley wins again becoming the very first three time winner. At this rate we won't need that many extra mini Tabasco bottles! Did your kids draw those illustrations, Steven? In any event...well scripted and well delivered! Honorable mention to Ela and Christina. We only had two Champions who exceeded the time limit...and one gets a bye as he was still on Parisian time. The asks are VERY specific and Aric could have selected three or four in addition to the HMs and the winner.

Special Awards:

February Leaders
Most Visitors, James Kashi
Most one-to-ones, Bo Lowe
Most Referrals, Chris Vasquez

Champions Spark Plug Award
Mr. Bill Edman (quack, Quack!) for configuring his Parisian vacation so that he wouldn't miss a BNI meeting! That is commitment. Thanks for sharing him with us, Donna!

Our Latest Notable Networker
Mr. Jiiiiiim Sando! Jim has proven himself worthy of the award by the countless "spot on" EC moments but certainly became noteworthy last week as he convinced 15 Champions to sign up for an advanced MSP and scheduled the venue as well! Jenni Nering, Bill Mills, and Lem were all there and expressed their appreciation! Congrats Jim! There is only one of these awarded each term.

Thoughts and Prayers:

To our dear Rosanne who could not be with us this morning but hopefully will return VERY soon! We love you Rosanne and are all praying for your speedy recovery! The dais is not the same without your smiling face.

Chapter Biz:

Referrals, 114
One-to-Ones, 283
Visitors, 17
TYFCB, $55,000...we did almost 25% of that today...great start for March!

And so completed another flight of the Champions!

Make it a Champion week ya'll

Your faithful President

Allen Buchanan